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Brendan Devenney: Elite county teams is what is driving the GAA

Updated: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 10:36 | Comments

Brendan Devenney: The club championship should be pushed up to the top of the agenda
Brendan Devenney: The club championship should be pushed up to the top of the agenda

Former Donegal star Brendan Devenney has criticised the GAA for what he perceives to be its neglect of the weaker counties and club players.

The St Eunan's man told the Irish Examiner that clubs are being overlooked, and revenue, such as that received from the Sky broadcasting deal, should be pumped into the so-called lesser counties.

Devenney said: “Elite county teams is what is driving the GAA.

“You look at the Sky broadcasting deal and the most pick-ups are going to be in the city, particularly Dublin.

“You would think that Sky will get behind Dublin GAA then in the near future and that they will be their target. The profile of the Dublin players will go through the roof and all this is taking from the club player, from other counties.

“You look at the difference between the ability of Cork and Dublin compared with teams like Tipperary and Leitrim. The inter-county scene is gone. There is no competition there.”

Devenney, who won five county titles, continued: “I think the GAA needs to decide are they pushing for a money agenda or are they playing these games for the people involved, 90% of whom are club players. Where are we going?

“The club championship should be pushed up to the top of the agenda. Instead it is being pushed back.

"Club players are being pushed down the ladder. I think the club competition is the only real one left. For me there’s a row between club and county, and money is at the heart of it.

“A problem exists in the amount of money being pumped into inter-county teams, the amount of money being pumped into their preparation, the amount of people willing to put their hand into their pocket for the good of a county team.

“You have Sky coming in to bid for the All-Ireland series, but you don’t have anyone bidding for the rights for the All-Ireland club decider.

“Club should be a priority and it is not. It is the poor relation.”

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